Helicopter manufacturer, Agusta Westland has agreed to reimburse the Italian government state support it received for two military helicopter projects which had civilian applications. Two military aircraft (the A139 helicopter and tilt-rotor aircraft BA609) were developed with state support for military purposes but versions were sold for civilian purposes. On 12 January 2011, the Commission confirmed that Italy was entitled (by virtue of Article 346(1)(b)TFEU) to take measures essential to its security interests including granting aid for the development of military aircraft. However, the value of any spillover effect on competition on the market for civilian aircraft had to be reimbursed to prevent distortion of competition in that sector. This is the first case of this type. The Commission has indicated that it will apply the same approach to future cases involving the spillover effect of aid for military projects to civilian ones.
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Aid for essential military projects cannot benefit products used for civilian purposes
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